Settling in: Neve Chabad Community Life in Be’er Sheva

By Michal Shaffier

Baruch HaBaa! Moving to a new city (or a new country) can be daunting. The awesome news is that Be’er Sheva has all the infrastructure a Chabad family needs. This article is by no means an exhaustive list or a complete resource guide. This is just enough info to get you started. For follow up questions, guidance, a hand to hold, or a phone number for “better” pizza, contact your Neve Chabad friends who’ve been in Be’er Sheva for longer – don’t be shy! We’ve all been newcomers at some point and we’re here to help.

For a very practical overview of general Chabad life in Be’er Sheva, here’s a link you’ll enjoy: http://chabadinisrael.com/communities/beer-sheva/

For a virtual Chabad community not exclusive to Be’er Sheva, you might like to join the Facebook group Chabad English Speakers in Israel.

Click or read through to find a general directory of useful information for settling in:

Shul

Rabbi Gurelik runs the Central Chabad House in Be’er Sheva aka Chabad Merkazi. He’s an incredible Shliach who miraculously finds time for everyone. He’s built an impressive network of Chabad Houses, schools and special programs in Be’er Sheva.

In general all of the Be’er Sheva based Neve Chabad men daven together on Shabbos. Friday nights they join a small Chabad House run by Rabbi Heber. Shabbos morning they join Rabbi Gurelik at the Chabad Merkazi where there’s plenty of space for wives and babies.

Beit Chabad Tet of Rabbi Heber is in a shopping complex miklat at 42 Sderot Yerushalayim. Phone: 054-257-7016

Chabad Merkazi is on 2 HaRabbi MiLubavitch St. Aside from being a shul it also houses a men’s mikva, judaica shop, classes, etc. Phone: 08 623-3197

 

Rabbanim

A good local Chabad Rav for Kashrus or Tahara questions is Rabbi Suissa at 050-728-2947

Rabbi Yarkovitch is a native English speaking Rav who lives in Lod. He isn’t local, but English speaking Chabad olim find him to be a Rav who understands them well. His number is 054-797-7042

 

General Assistance

Nefesh B’Nefesh has a special office in Be’er Sheva for people making Aliyah to the South and for Olim moving South. They have a lot of informational resources and also moving grants.

Speak to Dana Hurwitz. She works in Be’er Sheva and is so wonderful and friendly and is available for all kinds of questions. Her email address is: dhorwitz@nbn.org.il

The Municipal Absorption Department of Be’er Sheva provides all kinds of assistance to English speaking olim in Be’er Sheva, from education to employment. Megan Turner is the director for English Speakers. Email: meganturnerklitab7@gmail.com

The Absorption Office aka Misrad Klita has a very helpful english speaking advisor to get you set up with all your absorption benefits. If you are new olim, you’ll need to set up a meeting with her asap!
Ilana Kishko
Phone: 08-6341605
Email: ilanak@moia.gov

 

Housing

For housing solutions I really like the website Yad2.co.il. It is not English friendly but it’s such a fantastic resource it’s worth making time to sit with a Hebrew speaker

A few housing tips:

In Israel, a home is listed as having “rooms” not “bedrooms.” The living room is included in the number of rooms listed. So if you’d like a 2 bedroom home you need to look for a 3 room home.

Renters pay property tax called arnona. It’s not usually included in the price of the apartment. The property tax depends on the size of the home and is paid every two months. It’s on average around 300-600 Shekels for a two month period and is worth clarifying when looking for a home.

Apartments have building fees for the upkeep of the communal areas and for the electricity for the hall lights etc. Every building is different. Some building fees are 50 Shekels a month and others are 150.

 

Transportation

Transportation in Be’er Sheva is pretty convenient. There’s a decent app called moovit that can help you figure out bus and train routes to anywhere in Israel, Google Maps works well too.

Busses and trains throughout Israel accept a smart card called a Rav Kav. You can get one at the Central Bus Station and fill up your Rav Kav “wallet” at Rav Kav machines around the city, in malls, and main bus stops. Fares are significantly discounted when paid with a Rav Kav as opposed to just paying with change.

For taxis, the app Gett Taxi works beautifully in Be’er Sheva. In general you can travel by taxi anywhere in Be’er Sheva for 25 Shekels (day time) and 30 Shekels (late at night).

For walking, Google maps are really accurate, including street views, and by car, Waze is invaluable.

 

Grocery Shopping

The very conveniently located local chain of grocery stores called Machsanei HaShuk have decent prices, lots of mehadrin food options and a delivery option. It’s a good place to start. For online shopping: https://www.mck.co.il

Everyone has their own favorite spot to shop, such as Osher Ad or Rami Levi, but it’s mostly personal preference. Things can get a little tricky in Shmitta years, but that’s another article.

In general the Chabad Be’er Sheva community is wary of any hechsher other than the two strictest hechsherim: B’datz Eida Chareidit, and the hechsher of HaRav Landau. Most of the Neve Chabad families are more liberal and will trust a few more of the mehadrin hechsherim. For more specific Kashrus advice it’s best to ask a Rabbi that you trust.

 

Meat & Poultry

“Of Anash” provides a Chabad schita home delivery service. They deliver to Be’er Sheva every Sunday. You can order by phone, or through their website. Bonus: once you place an order, they will make sure to call you every week to check if you’d like to place an one again.

Phone: 03 952-1649

Web: http://www.of-anash.co.il

 

Bakery

“Ha’Ofa” 08 665-1668

“Beit Ma’afeh HaGesher” also has pizza 08 642-2492

 

Clothing & General Shopping

For tznius clothing, we have a gem of a shop in Be’er Sheva’s old city. Be sure to set up your desert summer wardrobe with flow dresses and shirts that don’t need layering.

Yofi Modi, KKL 161. Phone: 08-665 2538

For everything else, the best place to get started is in the Grand Kenyon. It’s literally the largest mall in Israel, and has almost everything you’d need. It’s also located right in walking distance of the Neve Chabad community area, and easy to get to by bus.

 

School Directory

Be’er Sheva has a complete system of award-winning Chabad schools. Until the High School years, the students are from a wonderfully wide mix of backgrounds – not exclusively from Chabad homes. The schools are spread around different neighbourhoods of Be’er Sheva, and offer optional bussing for the younger children at a fee. Check out our blog post for tuition information.

Nursery School (Gan – up to age 3)

  • Phone: 08 644-1159

Preschool “Reshet Ganei Chabad” (boys and girls age 3 until first grade)

  • Principal: Rav Kleinman Druk
  • Gan Principal: Rav Yitzchak Ben Shimol
  • Address: HaTalmud 1, Be’er Sheva (Schuna Daled)
  • Office: 08-648-0987
  • Cell (Rav Yitzchak): 052 270-2622
  • Fax: 08 649-2506

Boy’s Elementary School “Talmud Torah” (grades 1 through 8)

  • Principal: Harav Nitzan Chalak
  • Address: David Niv 25, Be’er Sheva (Neve Ze’ev neighbourhood)
  • Office: 08 610-1577
  • Fax: 08-6108799

Girl’s Elementary School “Beit Sefer Chabad Uziel” (grades 1 through 8)

  • Principal: Rebbetzin Ayelet Veintraub
  • Address: Elazar Ben Yair 19, Be’er Sheva  (Shchuna Daled)
  • Phone: 08 641-4187
  • Office: 054 638-5859

Boy’s Yeshiva Katana “Yeshivat Chabad” (high school)

  • Principal: Harav Nitzan Chalak
  • Address: Negbah 49, Be’er Sheva (Old City)
  • Phone: 08 665-2534

Girl’s High School “Beit Chaya VeRivka”

  • Principal: Rebbetzin Puah Elcharar
  • Address: Chana Rovina 39, Be’er Sheva (Nachal Ashan neighbourhood)
  • Phone: 08 610-4180
  • Fax: 08-6105242

 

Women’s Mikva

The nicest mikvah with Chabad standards is in the Nachal Ashan neighbourhood. The address is Lashinski st. 20. Most taxi drivers have a hard time finding it, so you can tell them to go to Shaul VEliyahu St. It is behind the large shul. The fee is NIS 25. The shelves are stocked with any time you may need, some at an additional fee.
Address: Nachal Ashan, Lashinski 2o
Call: 08 610-4576 or 050 410-7170

There is another Mikva with Chabad standards which is closer to our community, in walking distance – which is useful for Shabbos. It is not as nice, but it’s okay. The fee is NIS 15.
Address: Schuna Alef, on Echad HaAm 17.
Call: 077-5446012

 

Swimming

Beit HaChayal has a pool and sauna with separate hours for men and women: 072 270-2159

 

Emergency Health Clinic

To avoid the hospital, head to the emergency health clinic. The facilities and staff are wonderful. With your standard insurance, the fees are relatively low.

Briuta

  • Phone: 08 958-5300
  • Address: Yitzchak Nafcha 25
  • Hours: 10am – 12:30am (Shabbos 9am – 12:30am)

Terem (works with Clalit)

  • Phone: 1-599-520-520
  • Address: Max Nordau St 1
  • Hours: 9am – 3am

Got it? Have fun! And don’t forget, we’ve all been newcomers at some point, and we’re here to help.

 

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